Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When Phil Attacks

We've noticed a woodchuck (or groundhog, whichever you prefer) hanging around our house for some time now. I'd been told he'd attack my garden but I was waiting to see what would happen. Well, last Tuesday, he fulfilled his promise, as a woodchuck, and mowed down my broccoli, carrot tops, some parsley (there was luckily a ton of it), and, insult of all insults, sat on my dill plant. Now that's just mean!

In retaliation, Patrick has now dug a 50-foot trench, all the way around the perimeter of the garden, 9 inches deep and 12 inches wide. We buried a chicken wire fence all the way around.

Yesterday morning, on our way downstairs, we noticed Phil nosing at the edge of the fence but unable to get at our tiny garden (hey, Phil, what about those other plants there, or those there, or that grass over there?) A small but satisfying victory!

Now if we could just get a gate built so that I can get into my garden. . .

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Past Week

With my parents' visit over the past week came

my birthday and fennel ice cream (we had to follow Molly's suggestion since she's from Oklahoma City),

lots of hiking

and work on the house (my birthday gift from them was this wonderful faucet which doesn't spit water all over the place as my old one did),

a trip to a local sheep farm I'd been wanting to visit, and much much more.

Thanks for the great week mom, dad, and Patrick!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Preview

All of last Tuesday (and I mean all of it) was spent in painting the hallway. I know that this sounds like an excessive amount of time to spend painting a hallway but you have to hear about the hallway itself. It is a small hallway on the first floor, containing 4 doors, then the walls of the stairs up to the landing, containing 1 window, then the walls of the stairs up to the second floor, where there are a further 4 doors. Lots and lots of trim work.

My parents came in for a visit (from Oklahoma City) on Wednesday. They helped me to hang a 1920's/30's light fixture given to me by a friend but we haven't yet been able to hang the excessive number of framed things I plan to hang in the hallway. Here is a preview of the newly patched, painted, smoke-detectored, and light-fixtured hallway, for now.

More soon.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Antique Store Find

This weekend, I finally got to go out to an area antique store which is supposed to be a really great shop but is closing at the end of the summer. It lived up to its reputation (although a bit low in stock, likely because of the impending closing) and I found my new favorite piece of furniture.

The photos are a little weird due to the fact that the light in this room is always bad but you can imagine that the colors are nicer (less purple -- the walls are white) in person.

The first teacup I acquired was the one on the bottom right. Patrick's Great-Aunt gave it to me when we stayed with her a few years ago. Since then I've been given another (top left) by my grandmother, bought one at my favorite antique store in Oklahoma City (center right), found one at a tea room in York (top right) and then, despite my decision to buy no more than 4 cup sets, purchased one more on a trip to maine (center left). They've never had a place for display until I ran into this great shelf. And now I need one more teacup to finish filling the shelf. Added bonus (I love quests for pieces to finish collections)!

Forget that the walls are not yet painted and the light is not good and the cabinets are currently lacking doors, I love this pantry room and the fact that I have this shelf for it makes it just that much more fantastic.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

After the Rain

It rained and rained for about a week. And my garden is all the happier for it! I'm sure that the last time I took a look at it, there were not any peas. Now they are almost ready to be picked. I know what's for dinner tonight!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Walk Up the Mountain

Yesterday evening we decided to actually take the 3.7 mile walk up the mountain across the street from our house that all of our neighbors had been talking about. And it was lovely. We should have gone sooner. We feel very lucky to live in such a pretty place.

I think my favorite part was the elderly lady toward the top of the mountain who had a very very old farm which is now being worked by her son. She was very friendly and, just because she saw us looking at her livestock from the road, gave us a tour of the whole farm and chatted with us for quite a long time.

Here is my huge quantity of photos. Click on over to my flickr, if you want to read my comments about them.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chicken Little and Littler

I've been sidetracked from my usual work by knitting chickens for a few days. I ordered this great yarn to make the black speckles and at about the same time that it came in I found out that my friend has a room decorated with chick-themed things so I had to have some chicken-knitting time. No choice.

The chicken is from a Blue Sky Alpaca pattern. The yarn is bits that I had about (Lorna's Laces and Araucania) and the white-with-black-speckles that I ordered from owool on etsy.

The chick is a free pattern from Purl Bee. He is from some leftover Beaverslide Dry Goods (I love that yarn and their website!) mixed with some leftover Anny Blatt mohair and a bit of random yellow cotton.

Until I get some real chickens (which we are considering doing), these two gals are being amusing enough.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I think I've mentioned here that I've spent most of the past three weeks working with a wonderfully helpful local antique dealer to clean out the "presents" left by my house seller in the basement, attic, and many of the closets. With the trash pick-up yesterday, we are almost finished!

In the process of doing all of this work, we've found some definite treasures, many of which went with the antique dealer but a few of which I am keeping for my own purposes or to find a good home via etsy. Today I've listed a few things over on etsy. I'll post the gems that I'm keeping myself here soon but, for now, these few things are all that I've had time to photograph.

Probably this is because the local strawberries have started to show up at the Farmer's Market and I find myself tied to my berry bowl lately.

And who could blame me, with those lovelies? Hopefully my own plants will produce something next year but, in the meantime, I'm certainly enjoying other people's plants.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I love the Renegade Craft Fair. I always loved craft fairs but Renegade is above and beyond many of them. When I was in Brooklyn, it was always a fun excuse to meet up with my friends and spend a whole day outside, wandering around the park (or the swimming pool, depending on which year it was) but now it was just a good excuse to drive into Brooklyn to see my friends and find some really cool things. I spend most of the time out of doors these days.

The camera was forgotten so I don't have any photos of the actual fair to share but, as requested by Melissa (who wanted to go but couldn't make it out), here is a shot of my purchases. Unfortunately, I don't remember where most of them came from (when you are walking around and around a track, with many many booths on all sides, it's tough to remember things like where things were purchased) but I do know that the handkercheif kit and pouch on the right are from Kimberly. And that both the fabric-covered buttons and the wooden buttons will likely find their way onto future knitting projects, whomever it was that I bought them from. Thanks, Renegade (and Aryn and Thea and Nana), for another fun year!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Quilt Update

I've been going full steam ahead on the quilt. Even though the bed it will be for is still in Oklahoma. I calculated that I will need about 32 squares and I'm up to 27 (I've done a few more since I took these photos). It needs ironing but you can still get the idea of the colors and layout. No point in ironing it before I'm ready to piece the blocks together. The cats will just get on them again anyway.

Because it's important to note things like this, I have to say that the lowest block on the right in the first photo is my favorite.

Also, because I'm absolutely super-lucky, my mother and grandmother are working on roman shades for me for the room the quilt will go in. They're going to have a panel of this (which I've had my eye on for years) down the center. I can't wait to show them here!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How the Garden is Growing

It's doing pretty well. Especially the parsley (which I'm sure is entirely thanks to Melissa's lovely marker). Although something has been munching on my bush bean and cucumber seedlings. I need to read up on what to do about that. I can't see any sign of a bug on or around the plants whenever I look for any clues.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pretty Projects

While there is a ton of construction-type work to be done on the house, it's not always the fun thing to work on. This weekend, with the help of our magnificent and generous houseguests, we did several of the "unimportant" pretty projects. And I can't stop staring at them!

The largest silhouette is from an antique store here in town which I had been stalking in anticipation of its opening for "the season". It's the only one which is actually cut paper and it made me feel like my collection was completed and had to be hung up. Even if the wall isn't yet patched and painted.

As you can see, this half-bath is tiny. It had a 3-inch deep medicine cabinet on the wall where the mirror is and that just wasn't working out too well for us. First, we didn't need it for storage and second, even the 3 inches of space was precious in this tiny room. So Kelly and I picked out this mirror while Patrick and Mark inspected lumber at Home Depot. We hung it and the shelf (from Pottery Barn but we've had it for about 5 years) and the little soap dish while they worked on their masterpiece on the porch (below).

Patrick and Mark working on our new guestroom headboard based on one I saw in a Crate and Barrel promotional e-mail about a year ago. (I don't know if the actual headboard was at Crate and Barrel, the ad was for bedding.)

Beeker's version of helping. At least she's not getting under their feet.

I think the room looks far more finished and less empty. Although I do still need to hang a few more things on the walls and do something about the frilliness of the ceiling fan (maybe just take down the light kit -- the light switch goes to a lamp in the corner anyway).